Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'One last kick' at agriculture

Manitoba senator leaving Ottawa for private sector

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Sen. JoAnne Buth of Winnipeg is taking "one last kick" in the private sector and leaving the Senate after serving two-and-a-half years.

Buth, who will retire from the Senate Aug. 10, has been hired as the new CEO of the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI).

She was appointed to the Senate on Jan. 6, 2012, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"It was a short chapter but it was a good one coming here (to Ottawa). But I felt like I was able to make a contribution, so that was most important," Buth, 60, said from Ottawa.

Buth said she had agreed to the nine-year Senate term limit Harper requested of all his new Senate appointees, and had planned to stay for six to nine years -- until this opportunity came up.

"My background is in agriculture. It's my passion. It's my industry," she said. "I always thought that if there was a position that I would like to do, it would be managing the Canadian International Grains Institute. It's a real gem of an organization in that it works with international customers to make sure that they are using Canadian grain products in the very best ways.

"I think it's really important for the agriculture industry to make sure we have a good, strong customer base," she added. "Canada produces some of the best products in the world. (The CIGI) has done a really good job in terms of technical support and market development. I see it going forward, continuing to do the same and broadening out. I think I can make a difference there."

Buth's departure leaves Janis Johnson, Maria Chaput and Don Plett as Manitoba's only senators -- three short of the province's full complement.

A news release from CIGI stated Buth will take over from Earl Geddes, who is retiring on Sept. 8.

"It was not expected, his retirement, and it was a tough decision to make," Buth said. "But I figure I've got one last kick out there in terms of working in the (agriculture) industry and I'm really looking forward to that."

Buth is an agricultural professional with a biology degree from the University of Winnipeg and a master's degree in entomology from the University of Manitoba. Prior to being appointed to the Senate, she was the president of the Canola Council of Canada. She previously worked for Manitoba Agriculture.

CIGI is an independent market development institute created in 1972 whose mission is to create a global advantage for Canadian field crops.

"JoAnne's extensive expertise and perspective will ensure that CIGI remains an internationally respected institute that works on behalf of farmers and industry in the promotion of Canada's field crops," CIGI board chairman Murdoch MacKay said in a statement.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 4, 2014 A10

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